As a Stranger Things superfan, if I might be allowed to call myself such a thing, I really didn't think the show could be improved upon. At turns funny, sweet, terrifying, and deeply disturbing... who could ask for anything more. I'm here to tell you, I've just seen something more. This Sesame Street parody of Stranger Things manages to *nearly* outdo the original, simply because Muppets.
I knew it was going to be something special when the short parody, called "Sharing Things," opened with Oscar the Grouch sneering at viewers from his trash can, disdaining yet another "Sesame Street parody with a cute, wholesome message about sharing. Oh, please." Oscar does give fair warning that spoilers for Season 2 of Stranger Things might follow... and so shall I. If you haven't caught up on Stranger Things, you might want to do that first before you watch the parody. If you have, I'll continue. "Sharing Things" opens with the Cookiegorgon (played by longtime cookie aficionado Cookie Monster) who is residing in the Snackside Down. He's run out of snacks, it seems and decides to visit our world in search of more treats. Luckily for him, it's Halloween. Unluckily for our favorite Season 1 character Barb (who was killed in the Upside Down but in this parody is simply stuck in a bunch of candy wrappers), he doesn't invite her along.
Once the Cookiegorgon arrives, he runs into a hopping bunny rabbit dressed as a policeman with an oddly gravelly voice. Get it? Hopper. Meanwhile the four young boys from Stranger Things, Lucas, Will, Dustin, and Mike, are out trick-or-treating in their matching Ghostbusters costumes. Lucas is played with charm and sensitivity by my personal favorite Sesame Street character, Grover, who introduces himself thusly:
I, your cute, adorable child of the eighties Lucas have a bad feeling about this! Why don't we go home to play a board game? Go fish anyone?
Ernie, who plays Dustin, even has a tiny Cookiegorgon in training called Dart. No word on why his best friend Bert wasn't invited to be a part of the parody... creative differences, perhaps?
The kids visit Will's mom Joyce for some trick-or-treating, where Muppet Will (who appears to be a relative newcomer to the Sesame Street parody scene) vomits up a nice gummy worm from his time in the Snackside Down. They run into their friend Eleven, who is the actual number 11 in an especially clever twist, and her sister Eight. The Cookiegorgon arrives, takes everyone's candy, and gets a valuable lesson about sharing from Joyce and Will's impressive artwork covering the walls. He learns his lesson, and brings a waffle back for Barb in the Snackside Down because they're "all the rage" these days.
Sesame Street has a long and illustrious history of blending pop culture with learning in amazingly well-executed parodies. One of the show's most recent parodies was a cover of the Daddy Yankee hit song "Despacito," but this time around it was an ode to a rubber duckie sung by Ernie and Rosita called "El Patito."
And before that? How could we forget "Orange Is The New Snack," a parody of Orange Is The New Black? There have been loads and loads of parodies over the years, but it's possible this Stranger Things parody was my absolute favorite. I don't know if I loved it so much because of the overt self-awareness of the writing, or the tongue-in-cheek character representations (Hopper as a hopping bunny rabbit? I'm still dying), but I do know this; it's going to be fun for everyone to watch. Pop culture references, cool characters, and a simple message about sharing without banging anyone over the head about it.
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